Proposed outreach projects must connect CU Boulder faculty research, creative work or teaching with the needs, interests or activities of external constituents and be aligned with the campus definitions of outreach and engagement and inclusive excellence. The primary applicant must be a CU Boulder faculty member. Other faculty members, staff, students and community partners are eligible to apply as co-applicants.

Below is information about the individual outreach award process. We also administer faculty group awards.

Note: Recipients are required to submit a final report form to be considered for continued funding.

  • November – Call for proposals announced
  • February 4 – Proposals due by 5 p.m.
  • March – Proposal applications reviewed
  • Mid-April – Award notifications sent
  • June – Funding for outreach awards made available (once funding requirements have been completed)

Outreach projects must connect CU Boulder faculty research, creative work or teaching with the needs, interests or activities of external constituents. Applicants are encouraged to review the campus definition of outreach and engagement

Using the following criteria and this scoring rubric, the CU Boulder Outreach Committee funds proposals that:

  • Connect to and advances faculty-led research, creative work and/or teaching
  • Foster and sustain relationships between community and campus partners that allow meaningful opportunities to contribute to and benefit equitably from the project
  • Show evidence of public need for CU Boulder involvement through evidence-based research, partner consultation and/or a direct request
  • Focus on inclusive, diverse and equitable programming.
  • Outline goals and objectives that are well-defined and clearly connect to the problem or issue being addressed
  • Provide a detailed and realistic timeline and plan to achieve goals
  • Include an evaluation plan with appropriate benchmarks and approaches to collecting evidence to monitor quality and impact of outreach work
  • Explain how the activities and people will be supported by the budget. If applicable, justify why outreach award funds are needed in addition to other available funding and/or how outreach award funding will be leveraged for other funding

If applicable, the committee also will consider proposals that:

  • Demonstrate a clear and compelling rationale for continued funding through details about growth of the project over time and impact to date
  • Provide details of student involvement including well-defined support, training and mentoring

Proposals for new projects from first-time applicants will be reviewed separately from continuing projects and repeat awardees.

  • The primary applicant must be a CU Boulder faculty member. Eligible faculty members include tenured and tenure-track faculty, senior instructors, instructors, research professors, professional research assistants, research associates, and postdoctoral researchers.

  • Faculty members may submit more than one individual award proposal. Each proposal must be for a distinct, substantially different outreach project. Only one individual proposal per primary faculty member may be awarded funding.

  • Staff, students, community members and other faculty members are eligible to apply as co-applicants. Lecturers, adjunct faculty or visiting faculty can have an active role in the project, but cannot be considered as principal applicants.

  • An academic unit or department must sponsor and maintain fiscal oversight of the project.

The CU Boulder Outreach Committee conducts a comprehensive review of all proposals and selects awardees. The committee is comprised of faculty and staff from diverse academic disciplines. When there is a conflict of interest in connection with a proposal, committee members recuse themselves from the related discussion and decision-making process.

    • Keep in mind that the committee members represent various academic disciplines. Write your proposal so that it is clear to all.
    • Be sure to spell out acronyms and provide definitions for technical terms.

    • Prepare a draft of your proposal to cut and paste into the online submission form so that you have a copy for your records.
    • Check your word count. The online form will cut off any information that
 exceeds the maximum word count.
    • Review examples of proposals that have received funding: Brain Behavior Clinic or Improving Educational Outcomes.
    • Review evaluation resources you might consider using to monitor your project and gather evidence, depending on the project or use this worksheet.

    Applicants must complete an online application form. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

    An academic unit or department must sponsor and maintain fiscal oversight of the project, as they will be ultimately responsible for any budget overruns. In most cases outreach projects should be completed by the end of June 2023.

    Proposals must include the following:

    Project Information

    • Project title (8 words or fewer is encouraged, clear to a lay audience)
    • Contact information for faculty applicant, co-applicant(s), department chair/director, school/college dean and fiscal manager
    • Indicate if the project has been funded in the past and if the faculty applicant has received other CU Boulder Outreach Award funding in the past. Proposals for new projects from first-time applicants will be reviewed separately from continuing projects and repeat awardees.

    Proposal Narrative

    • Demonstrated need: Explain the need for the proposed project, including the problem(s) or issue(s) it may seek to address. Note if the project is responding to a direct request from external constituents. (250 words maximum)
    • Project goals and objectives: Provide an overview of clearly defined goals and objectives. (250 words maximum)

    • Project plans and timeline: Outline how you plan to achieve your goals and the timeline. (250 words maximum)
    • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility objectives and goals: Provide details that demonstrate how the program is inclusive and accessible for all participants and advances the campus diversity and inclusion plan. (250 words maximum)
    • People Involved:
      • Faculty member roles: Describe the role of each participating CU Boulder faculty member, including the primary faculty applicant, and how the program extends their teaching, research, or creative work. (250 words maximum)
      • External partner role: Describe the role of the non-CU Boulder project partners and how they will be involved in the planning and implementation of the project. Include how the partnership is mutually beneficial for both university and community collaborators. (250 words maximum)

      • Audience served: Describe the non-CU Boulder audience or constituency. Include pertinent demographic information and if the project will engage with a diverse or underrepresented community. Include details of how the audience will be reached and/or recruited to participate or be involved in the project. (250 words maximum)

      • Student involvement (if applicable): Describe how CU Boulder students will be involved in the project and how they will be supported, trained and/or mentored. If the project will engage students with a diverse and/or underrepresented background, please include pertinent demographic information regarding the students involved. (250 words maximum)
    • Contingency plan: Describe the contingency plan for how your program could be modified if in-person activities or travel is not permissible. Include information on how you might adjust your project plan, timeline and budget if needed. (250 words maximum)
    • Continuing/previously funded applicants (if applicable): Provide details about the duration of project including the number of years of outreach award funding has been received and the justification for continued funding. Include information about the growth of the project over time and provide evidence of impact to date. Only applies if continuing the same outreach award project or are building on previous work for a new project. You do not need to complete this section if the project was funded with a community impact grant or micro grant received from the Office for Outreach Engagement. (250 words maximum)

    Assessment/Evaluating Impact

    • Assessment/evaluation plans: Describe your project assessment/evaluation plans including how you will monitor the quality of your outreach work, address and evaluate your project objectives and gather relevant feedback for improvement. Explain the approaches to be used to collect evidence about the impact of your work on both external and internal audiences. (250 words maximum)
    • People directly impacted: Provide a breakdown of the estimated number of CU Boulder faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, and external constituents who will be involved and directly affected by the project. (Note: This is not to suggest that more is better; the committee understands that some outreach work may go deeper and serve fewer people.)           

    Budget Information

    • Budget narrative: Specifically explain how your budget will support the activities and people described in your proposal. If the budget includes stipends or honorariums for K-12 teachers or community partners, explain why it is needed to enable participation or recognize contributions to the project and why the amount of the stipend or honorarium is justified. (250 words maximum)
    • Funding requested: Total dollar amount of funding requested from the Outreach Committee ($9,000 limit, including GAIR).

    • Expense breakdown: Provide dollar amount and a brief description (8 
words maximum) of the projected expenses. See “Funded Activities and Expenses” section for a list of allowable budget items. Identify each expense in one of the following designated categories:
      • travel expenses

      • materials/supplies/equipment

      • student pay
      • stipends or honoraria
      • other direct costs
      • GAIR (All outreach accounts, which are Fund 29 accounts, are subject to General Administrative and Infrastructure Recharge (GAIR) fees, currently assessed at 7.89%.)
    • Other funding sources:
      • Describe other sources of funding for your project and specify how these funds will be spent to enhance or expand your project.
      • Explain why the outreach award funds you are requesting are needed in addition to other funding and/or how outreach award funding will be leveraged to secure other funding.
      • Other funding sources should include any other grants, matching funds from your department/unit, and/or any previously awarded outreach award funds that will be carried into the next fiscal year*. (250 words maximum)

    *Note: You need to contact Jeanne McDonald to request an extension for previously awarded outreach funds.

    Endorsement and Final Report Upload

    • Share the draft of your proposal with your department chair/director in advance of submission and obtain a one-page endorsement letter from them that includes details on how the program will be supported and is tied to the outreach and engagement mission of the department/campus program. This is an important part of your application. Upload the letter with your online submission. (1-page limit)

    Note: If the faculty applicant is also a chair/director, the applicant cannot endorse their own project. Please have a dean or associate dean submit a letter on the applicant's behalf.

    • Final/Status Report (Required for Continuing Projects): If you were awarded outreach funds during 2021–22, you must also submit a Final/Status Report for that program with your new proposal, even if you have not yet completed the project or are submitting a proposal for a different outreach project. Upload with your online submission. Only applies if continuing the same outreach award project or are building on previous work for a new project. You do not need to submit a report if the project was funded with a community impact grant or micro grant received from the Office for Outreach Engagement.

    Allowable Budget Items

    • Program materials and supplies, including printing costs and 
informational materials

    • Equipment necessary to the project, including justification for its use and a plan for what will happen to the equipment once the project is complete (equipment is property of the state and cannot be donated or remain at external sites)
    • Food or beverage integral to the project (cannot be used for 
reception/social events)
    • Student stipends or hourly pay for currently enrolled CU Boulder undergraduate or graduate students (include pay rate and all costs associated with position including benefits, IT connectivity fees, etc.)

    • Stipends or honoraria for K-12 teachers or community partners
    • Travel expenses for CU Boulder faculty, staff, and/or students
    • Other direct costs needed for the project

    Non-allowable Budget Items

    • Faculty pay, honoraria or release time

    • Staff or post-doc pay

    • Pay for undergraduate students enrolled in course tied to outreach projects
    • Fees and travel expenses for outside consulting, speakers, or professional/specialized services
    • Capital expenses or overhead costs (e.g., rent, personal computers, office equipment)

    • Expenses to attend or host/create a conference

    • Catering expenses for receptions or other social events
    • Marketing or advertising costs

    • Sign the funding agreement (sent via DocuSign).
    • Acknowledge funding support by including the following statement in appropriate materials: “This project is supported by a CU Boulder Outreach Award.” 
    • Learn more about the Risk Management policies and receive pre-approval from the Human Research and Institutional Review Board (IRB) for a research project that involves human subjects.

    • Add your project information to the campuswide Community Outreach Engagement Programs website or review and update program information if already entered on the site.
    • If your project involves an event, make sure to select “Outreach and Engagement” in both the Group and Interest categories on the CU Events Calendar to have your event promoted on the Community Outreach and Engagement Programs website.
    • If you want any kind of publicity related to your project, please review background information about outreach communications.
    • Inform your department communicator and Gretchen Minekime, OOE's communications program manager, about any events or story ideas related to your project. Gretchen can help you determine who to contact and connect you with Strategic Relations resources, and suggest ways to advertise the event. Please include our office's logo, which we can provide, on any posters and ads.
    • Tag @CUOutreach on any social media posts related to your project.
    • Respond in a timely manner to office staff about project deadlines or publicity related to the project, which may be featured on the Community Outreach and Engagement Programs website.
    • Submit a final report upon completion of project that includes
a description of the work done, its impact, participant counts (community/audience, faculty/staff, students) and number of contact hours.


    If you have questions about the application process or you have funding needs that do not meet the Outreach Award criteria or application timeline, contact Jeanne McDonald, Associate Director, 303.492.4471.